Airbag suspension and air suspension seats are not usually a starting place for a motorhome review, but on my journey from the Gold Coast-based Paradise Motorhomes factory to Sydney in the Integrity Lite Deluxe (LD), I appreciated their benefits. As anyone who has recently travelled this section of the lengthy roadworks construction site that the Pacific Highway currently appears to be will probably understand. And it proved to be a good test for the Integrity LD’s ride quality.
You would be right to expect good handling and a comfortable suspension system in a motorhome with a price tag well over $200,000, but it’s an issue that all motorhome manufacturers in the upper end of the market struggle with because the base vehicles are built for commercial use.
LAYOUT AND DESIGN
The air suspension seats, though, are very much in keeping with a high quality motorhome. Paradise has placed a heavy emphasis on safety, evident throughout the Integrity LD. Take, for instance, the numerous external storage bins, which are set low on the motorhome’s body, not only to fit under the offside slide-out, but also to keep the centre of gravity as low as possible. This helps with vehicle handling as well as passenger safety in the unfortunate event of an accident, ensuring heavy items like batteries, gas cylinders and toolboxes can’t become potential missiles.
This same line of thinking applies to items like the flatscreen TV mountings, with both the internal and external fittings designed by Paradise for ease of movement but also to keep the TVs very secure.
Following a similar theme, the motorhome body has a high-tensile aluminium frame, designed to provide rollover protection and the necessary mounting structure for the 3.9m (12ft 9in) slide-out. Composite fibreglass finished in polished gel coat is used for the walls and a the roof is a one-piece moulding. A one-piece composite floor keeps things sealed up underneath.
This was the first opportunity I’ve had to do a long drive test on the Iveco eight-speed and I found it much better than the old automated manual shifter. Not only does the gearbox work smoothly up through the gears under rapid acceleration, it also kicks down to provide engine braking when travelling downhill.
The motorhome is fitted with a slide-out that runs almost the entire length of the offside wall, creating plenty of internal living space. A sideways-facing lounge, a 190L fridge and an east-west island bed are built into the slide-out. Opposite the lounge is the kitchen bench and opposite the bed is a full-sized wardrobe. A full-width bathroom runs across the rear.
The entry door fits in between the wardrobe and the kitchen bench and the entry steps have an unusual mesh grill fitted, which is a series of foam baffles designed to provide ventilation in the case of a gas leak while still keeping noise and water from making its way inside.
Importantly, it’s possible to use the Integrity LD’s living area with the slide-out closed, and you can also reach the rear bathroom once you lift the bed from its base; careful engineering means the bed base lifts easily, creating a narrow walkway to the rear.
BEDROOM AND STORAGE
The Integrity LD is certainly not lacking in storage space: the bedroom wardrobe is huge and the under-bed area is accessible from both inside and outside. All the overhead lockers are a good size and handle-less, making them very easy to open while still closing firmly.
On either side of the bed are small bedside cabinets. They look conventional but both have 12V/5V USB charging points and hinged lids, which hide compartments that are large enough for charging iPads or mobile phones overnight without taking up valuable shelf space.
The bathroom is large and includes a 0.9x0.7m (3ft x 2ft 4in) offside shower cubicle, complete with towel rail. The cassette toilet has an SOG vent system fitted and sits centre-stage, so there are no issues with elbow room. The nearside vanity cabinet features a wash basin, top-loading washing machine and mirrored shaving cabinet.
THE BOTTOM LINE
In many ways, it is difficult to list all the features in this Paradise Integrity LD, but it’s quite clear that this motorhome has not been designed to a price. Indeed, much higher up the list are safety features and well-engineered products – a number of which come directly from the Paradise factory rather than from outside suppliers.
- Driving the Iveco Daily
- External storage bin capacity
- High-quality fittings
- Great LED lighting
- Charging points in convenient locations
- Convenient storage above the driver’s cab
- Small kitchen